Mennonite Disaster Service has ended its response in Bastrop County, Texas, after three fall and winter seasons of work in the Central Texas community.
Over 1,000 volunteers took part in the effort between November 2011 and April 2014. During that time, over 80 different home sites were cleared of burned trees and debris from burned homes, and volunteers installed skirting, porches, and ramps for fire survivors who replaced their burned out homes with manufactured housing.
Working with the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team (BCLTRT), MDS built 21 new homes from the foundation up, plus assisted four other clients finish their rebuilds with roofing, foundation and drywall work.
“It is amazing to see how the gifts of labor and love can produce such a benefit for both the clients and the entire county, as homes are restored, tax bases are firmed up, and families are able do business and go to school in the Bastrop community,” said MDS project director, Carl Dube. “There is a bible story of some servants who were given various talents and then told to use them. In Bastrop the MDS volunteers have put their talents to good use and reaped a high return.”
MDS partnered with several other volunteer groups and businesses while in Bastrop County, including Christian Aid Ministries, World Renew, Nomads, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Lutheran Social Services. The work of the BCLTRT to coordinate the work, funds and clients enabled all these groups to carry out meaningful recovery efforts in Bastrop County.
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MDS featured in new book
Brenda Phillips, PhD, Associate Dean at Ohio University in Chillicothe, has published a new book titled “Mennonite Disaster Service and the Gulf Coast Recovery“ A long-time friend of MDS, she is a widely published author on disaster recovery and socially vulnerable populations and has received numerous awards and recognition. Phillips is donating all of the royalties of book sales to MDS. To order a book at a download an order form here or call the Binational Office, (717) 735-3536. The book will be “library quality,” so consider donating a copy to your church library.
The book has been described as an “academic study and a story—a truly engaging one—of people helping people in a very special way. This is a close up view of those who experienced the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike and those from the Mennonite Disaster Service who came to help. Together they built a classic therapeutic community. This important book is a valuable resource not only for students and academics who will find rich empirical support for many theoretical concepts, but for anyone who wants to understand and appreciate giving and receiving in disaster recovery.”— Maureen Fordham, Northumbria University
MDS featured on NBC Nightly News! MDS was featured on the NBC Nightly News on March 29, 2011. To see the story that features our Diamond, La. project, click on the link below:
MDS on the News